With this question, the hiring manager is looking to understand more about your job performance and history, as well as learn more about your own motivations. All of this information helps the employer get a better sense of whether you'll be a good fit for the company and also helps the company determine whether you have any red flags that it should be aware of. This question will likely come up if you're still employed so be prepared with a great answer in order to get the job.
Points to Emphasize
- Remain positive about your current job and employer. Highlight the things you like about the job before emphasizing why you're seeking better opportunities elsewhere.
- Provide specific details about what motivates you to apply for this particular position and how you can use your previous experience to benefit your potential employer.
- As your response winds down, end on a strong note by reiterating how you will bring valued skills and experience to the new position.
- Always remain collegial and polite and never get defensive. Even if you can't wait to leave your current job, keep these thoughts to yourself.
- Having a ready and thoughtful answer to this question can help elevate you to the head of the pack in the hiring manager's mind.
Mistakes You Should Avoid
This question can be difficult to answer if you are experiencing speed bumps in your current job. Below are a few pointers to help you craft a great response even when your job is less than perfect.
- Never show desperation to leave your job or display overt negativity about your previous employer. Emphasize at least one positive quality about your current job and focus on the skills you gained, rather than the problems you faced.
- Don't forget to discuss your overall career goals and how the new job will fit into that plan.
- When comparing your current job with the one you are seeking, provide details and concrete anecdotes to show your logic in wanting to make a transition.
- Be sure you have a ready response to this question; otherwise you may risk sounding evasive.
I have learned a great deal at my current position and have really taken the opportunity to sharpen my skills and learn from wonderful colleagues. However, I believe that I have advanced enough in my skillset to see out the more complex challenges offered by the position at XYZ Company.
Though this question can be tough, it's a great opportunity for you to explain to your potential employer your career goals and how you can benefit their bottom line.